Fire investigators say an explosion and fire Friday at an organic distillery on Benson Way in Ashland was probably caused by equipment used in the distilling process, but further investigation by a forensic laboratory would be needed to pinpoint the specific cause.

Fire investigators say an explosion and fire Friday at an organic distillery on Benson Way in Ashland was probably caused by equipment used in the distilling process, but further investigation by a forensic laboratory would be needed to pinpoint the specific cause.

Ashland Fire & Rescue will record the cause of the fire at Alchemical Solutions as undetermined, said Margueritte Hickman, division chief and fire marshal.

Private fire investigators hired by insurance companies are continuing the investigation. The damage to the building and its contents likely will exceed $1 million, Hickman said in a news release.

The explosion and fire at 1090 Benson Way, Unit 1, was reported Friday morning. It heavily damaged the distillery, and smoke and the loss of electricity for cooling also damaged raw cacao, sugar and other materials stored by chocolate manufacturer Dagoba in a neighboring unit.